The database you see here represents months of work by a VERY wonderful
set of volunteers (, Joseph Rajunas, Ellen Ewald, Jeanne
Schell, John Rifilato) with information provided by Vilius Zalpys. Their
constant effort and vision brought this database to life and we are happy
to be able to present their work.
The information contained in this database is being compiled from the
book titled The History of Chicago Lithuanians (1869-1959), authored
by Alex (Aleksas) Ambrose (Ambrozaitis) and published by the Lithuanian
American Historical Society in 1967 at the "Naujienos"
printers. The information in the book included the history of Chicago
Lithuanians, the history of clubs, organizations, associations, political
activities, churches, books, choir groups along with a chronological history
of the most important points for Chicago Lithuanians (to name a few).
Included in this book was a complete surname index of everyone mentioned
in the book and is represented in this database as part of Phase I of
this project. There are three phases to this project as follows:
Phase I (Completed - Volunteers: , Joseph
Ewald, Jeanne Schell, John
Rifilato): Transcription of all indexed
surnames into database. This database includes the associated page listings
of where the surname is mentioned along with any accompanying biography.
NOTE: Only a small portion of the surnames have associated
(Completed 01-Feb-2007 - Volunteer: ):
Transcription of all biography listings into Word and then converted into
.PDF format for integration with the online database compiled in Phase
I. A very big "Thank you" to Jonas for completing this effort
Phase III (Completed
06-Apr-2007 ): Integration of biographies
into online database. (NOTE: At this
time, all biographies are in Lithuanian. We are exploring ways to have
these biographies translated into English, but it will be a very large
endeavor. If there is a student group from a Lithuanian-American Community
that would like to assist us in this effort, please
The following explanations are meant to help understand why some surnames
are spelled in a non Lithuanian form in this Index. Because this book
was meant for a Lithuanian speaking audience, the Lithuanian diacritical
marks are included as they were found in the Index.
Lithuanian immigrants arriving in America prior to 1918
Lithuanian Independence came to this country with documents written in
Russian, Polish or German. Arriving in this country, at a time prior to
the wide use of Lithuanian as a written language, many people did not
give it a thought to how their names were spelled. In Lithuanian circles,
the names were always used in a Lithuanian form, but written down they
were spelled in a Slavic or German form (later many changed to an English
form). The reasons and explanations are as follows:
Many names were hyphenated in the index or biography pages. Since the
hyphenated names did not fit in the name column, they were added to "remarks"
for clarification. However, the book does not identify which of the two
names the individual used as his/her legal name. Many times neither of
the names are the one used as a legal spelling in this country but was
the name used in Lithuanian circles and thus the name given to the author.
CZ, SZ (CH, SH)
(above - advertisement from St. George Golden
Jubilee Book) |
Hyphenated names with -evicius, -avicius,
-ovicius: Many times in the index and more in the biography
pages you will see names like Vaitkus - Vaitkevicius. The reason
for doing this is that Lithuanians in this country began removing
the Slavic endings from their names. The Byelorusian patronymic
endings "vicius" was commonly removed . The hyphenated
names (usually the second name) shows what the name was prior
to arrival in America
Hyphenated names of females: Many females in this
index hyphenated or used their median names as a middle name.
Examples are endings like -aite, -yte, -ute. The
author most times used the ending -ute. It could have been what
people in Chicago were using at the time or just the authors
Hyphenated names of English and Slavic spellings in Lithuanian
are also found as follows:
Reasons for different spellings:
As a general rule, any surname not ending in E,
A, or S is probably not spelled in a Lithuanian form.
: These letters were used in Polish and Belorusian
to sound out similar Lithuanian letters. Following Lithuanian standardization
in 1918, they were not used any more. These letters today have a Lithuanian
equivalent of CZ = c and SZ = s. The English CH and SH are also similar
sounds and you will see some names mixing two or three languages .
W: This letter was used in Polish spellings of
Lithuanian names prior to 1900-1918. But following standardization of
the Lithuanian language in 1918, "V" was chosen to represent
Married Females in this index usually had the Lithuanian ending "-iene"
. To find the family name, you need to remove the -iene ending
and replace it with the appropriate masculine nominative case endings
(-as, -is, -ys, -ius).
Titles and abbreviations:
Titles found next to the names are abbreviated. Nouns
in Lithuanian, other then names, are not capitalized unless they are
the subject of a sentence. The following table displays current abbreviations
found in this database:
to view this database (opens new window)!
If you have a database or information that you would like
to put into our database, that pertains to Lithuanian genealogy, please
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org